Chengwatana Farm

Palisade, MN US

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Farm Description:

Our farm is a beautiful, quiet place located on a dead-end road in a small rural community in northern Minnesota. A river forms about two miles of the property’s boundary, and provides water for supplemental irrigation of vegetable gardens if needed. It is also a popular recreation river for canoeing. The Mississippi River is within a few miles of the farm. Of the 200 acres we call home, about half is forested; the other half is open meadows, pasture, and cropland. Duluth, Minnesota is 1.5 hours away by car, and Minneapolis-St. Paul is about 2.5 hours drive from the farm.
For the time being, we have chosen not to apply for organic certification, but have been growing crops and livestock in accordance with the U.S.D.A. National Organic Program for ten years, with a goal of going beyond organic and following biodynamic principles. Even before that time there were no chemical fertilizers or pesticides applied – the only crop at that time was hay. We have many tree planting projects and plan to work toward a Permaculture model of sustainability as we move forward.
Our vision is of a closed system of animals, vegetables, fruit and nut trees, and forage crops that feed each other in a cycle of nutrition and decomposition. Livestock manures from draft horses, sheep, and poultry combine with carbon sources and vegetable and fruit wastes to form high-quality compost which is applied to gardens, orchards, and fields.
Workers and interns must be willing to work in all kinds of weather, and should be able to get up early and be self starters. Married couples or pairs of friends are preferred because of the isolated location, but we certainly accept single wwoofers. Visitors are welcome at the farm – every season has something fun and exciting happening. We hope to provide an opportunity for young people (of all ages) to learn about natural ways of growing, cooking, preserving, and healing, as well as a variety of survival skills and crafts. We take the educational aspect of wwoof very seriously, and are willing to work with students who want to do projects for college or high school credit. Winters here are as serenely beautiful as summers. We welcome travelers who want to stay for a time and work with us.

Activities
This area is a recreational destination for the midwest, with many freshwater fishing opportunities, swimming, canoeing, hiking, camping, bicycling, antiquing in the summer months. Winter brings a different set of opportunities, such as hunting, ice fishing, and cross-country and downhill skiing. Wwoofers are encouraged to attend our non-denominational church and participate in community and recreational activities with the family.

Work
We would like to have about 6 hours a day of farm help, six days a week, but that could be flexible to accommodate other activities or even other part-time work. Four 8-hour days would likely work equally well. Accommodation could be with the family or in a bunkhouse – even tenting or RV would be acceptable if visitors preferred that. There is electricity and water available, and modern conveniences. There is farm and forestry work year-round, depending on the interests of visitors. We also have ongoing construction work and general maintenance work such as mowing and fence maintenance. If there was an interest, we could do some more intensive marketing of produce, eggs, and poultry. It would be most helpful to have WWOOFers who could stay for 1-3 months after an initial 2-week trial period.

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2013-02-13 22:19:50 message sent
2013-02-14 18:34:25 message sent